Laths

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Laths'

Laths Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Lath \Lath\, n.; pl. Laths. [OE. laththe, latthe, latte, AS. l[ae]tta; akin to D. lat, G. latte, OHG. latta; cf. W. llath a rod, staff, yard. Cf. Lattice, Latten.] A thin, narrow strip of wood, nailed to the rafters, studs, or floor beams of a building, for the purpose of supporting the tiles, plastering, etc. A corrugated metallic strip or plate is sometimes used. Lath brick, a long, slender brick, used in making the floor on which malt is placed in the drying kiln. Lath nail a slender nail for fastening laths.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Laths'


A lath is a thin, narrow strip of some straight-grained wood or other material, including metal or gypsum. A lattice, or lattice-work, is a criss-crossed or interlaced arrangement of laths, or the pattern made by such an arrangement. Lath is the basic material used in the formerly common building technique known as lath and plaster, which was used to make interior walls.

The word stems from Old English laett, Mid. Eng. laþþe, a form possibly due to the Welsh liath; the word appears in many Teutonic languages, e.g. Dutch lat, German Latte, and has passed into Romanic, cf. Italian latta, French latte), denoting a thin, flat strip made of wood or possibly another material.

Today, laths are still used in building construction to form a base or groundwork for plaster (modern lath and plaster applications are mostly limited to conservation projects), tiles, slates, and other coverings, e.g. roofing. Such strips of wood are also employed to form lattice-work, or are used as the bars of venetian blinds or shutters. Riven lath is the stronger forerunner to sawn lath, as it was traditionally split with the grain from chestnut, oak, or similar hardwoods. Laths were also used to fix reed to a timber structure before plastering.

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